I needed a domain and it was registered by a company called fieldlakeandsky.com which is under nameking.com.
I contacted them by email and will be awaiting a reply.. anyways, I did a research and I found out that nameking.com is quite popular for domain hijacking.. so the question is, are they safe for us to pay and purchase this particular domain? or are they some sort of fraud company.. ? here is an article I found in the net:
I just saw this article at eWeek that shows proof for the first time that I have seen that someone really is watching what you type when checking on potential domains - and then registering them! It outlines both a user and the authors test of the CNet Domain Search page, which is actually using Search.com, which is actually using web.com, dotFM, e-nic, and APlus.net where the domain researched was registered with an outfit called Chesterton Holdings within a day or so of the search.
Evidently Chesterton Holdings uses an "automated process" which seems to be another way of saying that they monitor whois requests and use that to decide what to register. When they do, they cover the page with the ads you usually see on parked pages - and the ads were all syndicated through information.com.
I figures I should do some research into this company, so I checked them out in Google Groups. They have a few entries for similar complaints. But why stop there. Let's check out their own whois data:
655 Flower St, #254
Los Angeles, CA, 90017
Creation Date: 03/08/05
Expiration Date: 03/08/07
But who else is on this server? There are six other domains hosted there:
Those names sure look suspiciously similar. Check out the actual sites, and you will see that FieldLakeAndSky, Laporte, Jucco, and Munchale all work like Chesterton, with the same "inquiry form." Only the two Hornbrooks don't with one a 403 Forbidden, and the other just a logo page without the inquiry form. These two domains are older than the rest, so maybe they have served their purpose and are no longer being used. What other similarities can you mine? How about where they are located?
Chesterton is in downtown LA at a Mail Boxes & More using Box #254, and if you look at the addresses of the others, you will find that Jucco and both Hornbrooks are owned by Jucco Holdings at Box #337. Oh look, Munchale is also there, using Box #253. Their phone numbers are different, but that does not mean much. LaPorte is nearby, west a few miles at an UPS Store. FieldLakeAndSky has the same address as a lawyer in Wyoming, but the phone numbers differ.
But what if you look up their phone numbers? Maybe you can find more! Jucco's phone number is a Cell phone in LA as is Chesterton's and Fields (but in Wyoming), so that is a dead end from a Web search. LaPorte Holdings is a real PacBell landline with a real address! Of course it is located about a block from the Mail Boxes store, but it is a general office building. I also found references to the phone number in other places, such as this Certified Ethical Hacker Exam Prep: Understanding Footprinting and Scanning page that lists Redriff.com under "Passive Information Gathering" at the same phone number and Wilshire Blvd. address. They also have a report at the RipOffReport.com site related to some credit monitoring service.
I typed in Munchale's phone number and the first hit was to something called DomainCargo, at the domain LookupToledo.com of all things. What is domain cargo? This is what they say:
Domain Cargo is a service that connects buyers and sellers in the domain name marketplace. We are dedicated to bringing our buyers both quantity and quality when it comes to domain names. We are proud to offer access to a constantly growing inventory of over 50,000 domain names ready for purchase from third party sellers at fixed prices at our web site domaincargo.com (“Site”). Similarly, we offer sellers an outlet to easily and efficiently sell their domain names to a large customer base. Please note that Domain Cargo provides these services to facilitate the purchase and sale of currently registered domain names between buyers and sellers. Domain Cargo is not the registrant of these domain names, nor is it an auctioneer or an escrow agent.
Oh really now? Then why is it when the first name I check out happens to be owned by Jucco Holdings? Same goes for the next four. Why is it that five of five are all owned by Jucco Holdings? Domain Cargo may not be the registrant per se, but they are still blowing smoke here.
What else do these all have in common? They are all hosted by NameKing.com. Who are they I wonder? NameKing is an "ICANN accredited registrar specializing in high quality bulk domain services," whatever that means. I found a thread in Google Groups from 2004 about domain hijacking where NameKing is referenced. But guess what? They were located at the exact same address as LaPorte Holdings.
I found other references to Nameking where a domain they hosted was reported for spam, among many others like this.
My best guess is that these guys have a hook into the whois queries so they can get good ideas for domains. They can register them through their bulk register and then put up ads and do PPC arbitrage while they list them for sale and perhaps use them for bulk email and other schemes. I spent a bunch of time doing this and went about as far as I know. Maybe someone like Chris or Ben Edelman could dig even deeper by following some of the ad trails.
It's unfortunate, but contextual advertising and domain monetization these days is big business and companies like Google make a lot from it -- and alot from domain providers that have setup there business in a way to proceed from this sort of stuff. The signs that I see, more and more domain providers are seeing this as a lucrative business model and alot are moving into this segment, so this practice is not going to be on a decline any-time soon. More players will be joining in.. and there is only one authority in the TLD name space which can do anything, if at all -- that's ICANN.
AS TIM MENTIONED, I'M A SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER AT A COMPANY CALLED DOMAIN SPONSOR.
IN THE INTEREST OF FULL DISCLOSURE AND TO MAKE SURE THERE'S INTEGRITY TO THIS SESSION, I DO WANT TO DISCLOSE THAT MY PARENT COMPANY OWNS A REGISTRAR, NAME KING, AND THAT THAT COMPANY DOES PARTICIPATE ON BEHALF OF ITS CUSTOMERS FOR DOMAIN TASTING OR ADD GRACE USE.